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Euro Projects Recruitment Business Leaders Zoom Call 13th July Summary - Kick Start, Apprenticeships & Leicester Lockdown

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Stephen Brown

Euro Projects Recruitment Business Leaders Zoom Call

For Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology, Transportation & Logistics Professionals

Summer Statement – Apprenticeships - Local Lockdowns

Covid-19 & Business Update

Stephen Brown from Euro Projects Recruitment

Welcome to our 17th week of hosting this Zoom Call. Last week we had the Summer Statement form the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and by now we have had a little time to digest its impact on businesses.

  • Confirmation Furlough/CJRS to end as currently planned on 31st October 2020
  • Jobs Retention Bonus of £1000 per employee brought back from furlough and retained until January 2021
  • Kick start Programme to encourage employers to hire 16-24 years olds with minimum wages paid for 6 months (employers to apply)
  • £1000 grant for hiring new trainees at NVQ level 2 & 3
  • £2000 per apprentice hired (£1500 if over 25)
  • Green Homes Grant of £5000 per household for energy saving and upto £10,000 per household depending upon means test
  • Increase in stamp duty threshold to £500k from now until 31st March 2021
  • VAT cut to 5% on food/accommodation/attractions
  • Eat Out To Help Out - 50% off meals up to £10 per person, Monday to Wednesday during August, reclaimed by registered venue
  • The Government focus on flattening the curve of the virus, has now shifted to flattening the  curve of unemployment caused by the virus. Somewhat conflicting messages now coming out of Government around encouraging people to return to work, as this has a direct impact on associated aspects of the economy.
  • Some concerns about a return amongst staff and approximately 40% of the working population can conduct some work from home.
  • Hybrid suggestion of part home, part office/workplace based employment likely t be popular. Employers urged to consider wider implications of who they bring back based on family/childcare, shielding family members, commuting arrangements. Try and take decisions down to an individual level where possible.
  • Trial days now being introduced to phase people back in and identify feasibility and areas of improvement to make offices Covid-Secure.
  • Anecdotal evidence of large employers seeing an increase in productivity from home workers and reduced business costs.
  • Awaiting more guidance on wearing facemasks in workplaces and offices.

Furlough Update  - Helen Dyke from Irwin Mitchell

  • Furlough no big changes this week, most companies trying to time their redundancies to make use of furlough payments.
  • Discussions on “how much at risk are you”
  • Working with retail client – number of stores redundancies – balance timings with job retention scheme and getting most out of it
  • Advise on collective consultation and numbers of at risk employees -  If you use the establishment test – you can avoid the 30 day / 45 day rule with individual sites
  • Make sure notice is covered.
  • Job retention bonus – not make much of a difference - If you need to make redundancies then £1k not make any difference
  • Most businesses view the Job Retention Bonus as a ‘pocket money top up’ as those they are returning to work would have been returned anyway.
  • Clients looking at cost saving measures
  • Kickstart – question – if you take on a ‘kick-starter’ and pay more than minimum wage can you still obtain funding? Yes, understanding that you can top it up – brand new so Helen will check as it may provide an opportunity for graduates to come in on the scheme.

Helen Dyke, Senior Associate Solicitor, Irwin Mitchell LLP

DDI: 0121 214 5242

Mobile: 07435966985

  • Kickstart Scheme: funding will be available for each job to cover 100 percent of the relevant National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 15 hours per week.
  • Additionally, it will cover the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
  • There are a number of different National Minimum Wage rates.
  • The one that a person gets is dependent on their age.
  • An individual must be school leaving age to get the NMW, and it currently stands at £4.55 per hour for under 18s.
  • The rate is £4.15 per hour for apprentices, while the NMW rises to 6.45 per hour for those aged between 18 to 20.
  • Anyone who is aged between 21 and 24 is entitled to the hourly rate of £8.20.
  • Meanwhile, those who are aged 25 and older can get the National Living Wage - which currently has an hourly rate of £8.72.
  • Apprentices get apprentice rate if they're under the age of 19, or 19 or older and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
  • Should the apprentice be both 19 or over and have completed this first year of their apprenticeship, they can get the minimum wage for their age.

Internships & Kick-Starter Work Placement Scheme: Bipin Patel, MD, EnginSoft UK Ltd.

EnginSoft has a Graduate on voluntary internship – She was due to start August but company forced to retract the offer. Kick start scheme may be an opportunity for employing her.

  • The mood amongst graduates is quite bleak, with many not hoping to get a job – believing what’s in the media.
  • Many graduates from 2018 now in work are also amongst the first wave of redundancies.
  • There is an opportunity for businesses to obtain interns as graduates are now looking to work voluntarily to gain work experience.
  • Interns are also more likely to be first in line should their internship role be offered as a paying job.
  • £26,000 previous average starting salary for graduates.
  • Risk of long term scarring of careers that start in recessions
  • Employers should be asking “What did you do during the pandemic to learn and develop”, as a way of top-grading at interview.
  • Staying in education is seen as a safe haven with potential for more Masters and PhD’s being taken.

Apprenticeships and Training Grants: David Bridgens, CEO, Midland Group Training Services (MGTS). 

  • Sadly a confusing message from UK Government because they launched support for traineeships and apprenticeships at the same time – Employers now not sure which scheme to adopt. Traineeship is the one with the most funding initially but unlike apprenticeships its just 6 months training then no need to find them a job.
  • Traineeships of old used to be perceived as cheap labour for a number of weeks
  • Kickstart – condition we see is that the people need to be on universal credit – excludes 16-18 year olds. This is for long term unemployed.
  • Apprenticeship support, MGTS not seeing £2k + £1k already offered as a big enough stimulus package as Apprenticeships typically are 2-4 years in duration.
  • Employer’s event horizon is the next few months not that 2-4 years
  • MGTS spoken to 47 companies they are working with – most have said the incentive has ‘not changed our minds’/ claim £2k + £1k – nobody yet spoken to that the extra £2k has made them actually decide to start an apprentice.
  • Considered more of a thank you
  • In 6-9 months’ time – the proof of the kick start pudding will be if still in employment
  • Connect with David or leave questions in our C19 Business Leaders LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8918352/

Effects of Local & Micro-Lockdowns on business – This week saw a Herefordshire with  70 + cases go into isolation and a bed manufacturer Durabed in Kirklees closed due to the virus. It’s a reminder to keep our business Covid –Secure.

Impact of the Leicester Lockdown, Paul Rivers, MD Guidance Automation

  • Two type of employees, the higher the salary the further away people live, so these are not affected by the lockdown and are more able to work from home.
  • Second group who are earning less are more likely to be based in the city and in lock down.
  • Morale not too badly affected. Some disappointment as its holiday season – cottages looking at postcode of where you are coming from and some people having holidays cancelled.
  • Risk Leicester lockdown could be extended
  • Productivity wise / business impact – not changed much. We aren’t retail. Manufacturing – slight underlying feeling of why us but more talking point
  • Supply chain / deliveries etc. – no impact – delivery companies still in & out
  • Suppliers considering an August shut down for 2 weeks to use up staff holidays
  • Two sets of employees – those who have stayed on and kept ship afloat desperately needing a holiday – need a rest and recharge of batteries
  • Second set – people coming back after long period off…..last thing employers want is them to say “I’m booking a two week holiday”.
  • Helen Dyke: if employee ask for holiday – if a new request you can say no…if already booked – notice to cancel it – more tricky – new requests can be declined on business need Be careful not to be discriminatory if someone has child care etc – need to be consistent
  • Some inventory stockpiled already as a Brexit contingency and now we’ve tried to make sure we have dual supply.
  • Many of our engineering, technology and manufacturing clients are using the current period of disruption to recruit for skills they couldn't previously find. Please let us know if you are thinking along the same lines and in the meantime you may find our latest Employment Report of interest: www.europrojects.co.uk/recruitment-review-and-salary-survey

 

Euro Projects Recruitment, supporting you and your business until you are ready to recruit again

T: +44 (0)1530 833 825 │ Website: www.europrojects.co.uk

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